The rewards of effort are long lasting and satisfying, the rewards of procrastination are few.
They are instant, but short lived.
The instant gratification of giving up, quitting, just relaxing and doing nothing; followed by guilt and the realization that the effort has only been temporarily delayed.
It is one thing to set goals in life but to keep up the effort required to bring those goals to fruition is a whole different matter.
I had not ridden my bike for a month; from Saturday 4th July, until Saturday 1st August to be exact. The reason, I got into watching the Tour de France each day instead of riding my bike.
I don’t regret that I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, the Tour ended and was followed by a week of procrastination over getting back on the bike; along with all accompanying guilt.
I found I could watch the Tour de France live on my PC, and watching the event live is the way to go if you have the luxury of a flexible schedule. You get the feeling of being there, and if you have ever raced bicycles, as I have, you know about the tactics of the sport, and you feel what the riders are feeling at the moment it is happening.
Each stage was over just before noon here on the Eastern Coast of the US, but where I live in South Carolina it gets brutally hot and humid by the PM, along with afternoon thunder storms. It is essential to get a ride in before 10am.
After watching the Tour de France for three weeks it was brought home to me what a tough and demanding sport bike racing is. I had to smile while watching golf last week. (Not by choice, it was in front of my face as I sat in a bar.)
I was reminded of a quote I hear banded about that “Cycling is the new golf.” I don’t think so. Even riding at the level I ride requires a certain amount of effort, and a certain level of fitness; hence the procrastination in my getting back into it.
We only procrastinate over things that require effort; do people procrastinate over playing a game of golf? I doubt it. Maybe games like golf are a form of procrastination without the guilt, which could account for why they are so popular.
I used to work for a man who would take three separate week long vacations each year. He would go skiing for a week. Go sailing for another week, and later play golf for a week.
I doubt he was good at any of these sports, but at least he could participate. Had he decided to ride a road bike for a week he would have suffered terribly. You can’t get on a road bike one week a year; it is a year round commitment.
The level I choose to ride at is 30 to 40 miles at a moderate pace. (Pushing myself, but not riding to a state of exhaustion.) I do this 3 or 4 times a week. When I get to a level of fitness where I can do this easily, riding becomes a joy and a pleasure.
When overcoming procrastination, a person has to look beyond the thing you are procrastinating over, to the reason you set yourself these goals in the first place. Instant gratification is one thing, but it can’t compare with the joy and satisfaction of reaching long term goals.
I went out on Saturday and rode just 15 miles; I did not push myself but just enjoyed the ride. Now I have that first ride under my belt I know it will be easier to get out again and increase the miles steadily until I am back to my desired fitness level.
My problem is, there are never enough hours in the day to do all I set out to achieve; it is easy to fill the time I spend riding my bike with other things. I realize however, that physical fitness is important to maintain the energy level I need to do all I want to do.
As we get older it is so easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle, which then leads to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc, etc. I just needed to step back and get my priorities straight, and realise that cycling and the exercise value I get from it, has to be my number one priority.
Keeping myself fit and healthy is essential to accomplishing all the other goals I have set myself. It was good to take a break, but it will be good to get back to my old form again. Cycling has always been a large part of my life, and it is the key to my future.
Question: Do you struggle with procrastination? What tricks do you use to get over it?